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  • James

    (from the Fore word in my NKJV) “ Faith without works cannot be called faith. “Faith without works is dead”(2:28), and a dead faith is worse than no faith at all. Faith must work; it must produce; it must be visible. Verbal faith is not enough; mental faith is insufficient. Faith must be there, but it must be more. It must inspire action. Throughout his epistle to Jewish believers, James integrates true faith and everyday practical experience by stressing that true faith must manifest itself in works of faith.
    Faith endures trials. Trials come and go, but a strong faith will face them head-on and develop endurance. Faith understands temptations. It will not allow us to consent to our lust and slide into Sin. Faith obeys the Word. It will not merely hear and not do. Faith produces doers. Faith harbours no prejudice. For James, faith and favouratism cannot coexist. Faith displays itself in works. Faith is more than mere words; it is more than knowledge; it is demonstrated by obedience; and it overtly responds to the promises of God. Faith controls the tongue. This small but immensely powerful part of the body must be held in check. Faith can do it. Faith acts wisely. It gives us the ability to choose wisdom that is heavenly and to shun wisdom that is earthly. Faith produces separation from the world and submission to God. It provides us with the ability to resist the Devil and humbly draw near to God. Finally, faith waits patiently for the coming of the Lord. Through trouble and trial it stifles complaining.

    James 1

    What did I learn of God? – Those who commit their lives to Him are His bondservants. He tests the faith of His people, which is designed to produce patience. He gives Wisdom to those who ask Him for it – if they trust Him to give it, and He knows they intend to act on what He says. He does not tempt anyone to Sin. All good Gifts come from Him. He is Glorified when His people visit orphans and widows who are in trouble, and not contaminated by the ‘world’.

    What did I learn of Myself? – Do I regard myself as Christ’s slave? Do I regard trials with joy? Are the difficulties in my life stretching my faith and making me more patient? if so I am growing towards perfection. Am I aware that I always need the Lord’s wisdom? Do I know God will give me the Guidance I need, and wait for it? or get tired of waiting while doing nothing? or do something useful while I wait? Do I realise God is unlikely to Guide me unless He knows I am determined to do as He says? Do I accept my social position, whatever it may be? Am I faithful to the Lord inspite of temptations? which come about because of my desires and determine the quality of my commitment to Him. Every good thing in my life is a Gift from God. My anger will never produce God’s Righteousness; swift wrathful repartee does not Glorify Him. Have I rejected all the Lord regards as filth and evil in my life? Do I act on the Word of God with humility? The attitude of my heart will be revealed by what I say. Do I visit those in trouble? I will only be Blessed by the Word of God when I act on it. Do I transform temptations into triumphs by choosing to please God?

    What did I praise God for? – His Grace.

    What did I pray for? – that He will control my tongue and give me His Wisdom.

    What does this say in one sentence? – profit from difficulties, have the right perspectives and act on God’s Word.

  • #2
    James 2

    What did I learn of God? – Jesus Christ is the Lord of Glory. He treats all His people the same. He has no favourites. He expects His people to love each other as much as they love themselves. He regards showing partiality to anyone a Sin. He does not grade the apparent severity of a Sin, but deems His rule broken by just one ‘little’ Sin. He is not Merciful to those who show no mercy to others. He expects faith in Him to be demonstrated by actions. He justified Abraham by what he did (being prepared to sacrifice his son) He justified Rahab by what she did. He justifies us by what we do.

    What did I learn of Myself? – Do I show partiality to some folk? Do I have as much concern for everyone else’s well-being in body, mind and spirit, as for my own? Do I grade other people’s Sin? Do I grade my own Sin? Do I realise exactly how easily my relationship with God can be broken? Am I merciful to others? Do I demonstrate my faith in God by my actions? Do I trust God enough to do what pleases Him at all times?

    What did I praise God for? – His Mercy to me.

    What did I pray for? – to have greater love for others, and help to be holy.

    What does this say in one sentence? – Personal favouratism displeases God, and what I do demonstrates what I believe.

    Quote :- (Charles H. Robinson) “You can say you are a Christian, but that doesn’t make you one. The true Christian will give evidence of faith by a transformed life. The kind of faith that will take you to heaven is the kind of faith that will produce Godliness in your life here and now.”


    • #3
      James 3

      What did I learn of God? – He Judges those who teach about Him more strictly than He Judges others, so they need to be mature in faith. He offers His Wisdom – which is pure, peaceable, a willingness to yield to Him, full of mercy and good fruit without partiality or hypocrisy.

      What did I learn of Myself? – Do I acknowledge my mistakes, Do I control my tongue? Am I careful regarding all I say and write? Do I realise that one unwise word or attitude may cause untold damage by unleashing the fury of hell? It may only be my unwise and hurtful words that will be remembered. Are others impressed by how well I speak or teach?- God is only impressed by how well I live what I believe and teach. If I am truly wise it will automatically be demonstrated by my obedience to Christ. If I allow bitter envy or selfish ambition to control me I will be controlled by demonic forces – not God. Am I envious or self-seeking? – if so evil will be there causing all kinds of problems. If I am truly righteous I will be Peaceful in words, thoughts and deeds

      What did I praise God for? – His offer of Wisdom.

      What did I pray for? – the Wisdom He offers.

      What does this say in one sentence? – Words have a powerful influence on us and others.

      Quote:- (Josh Billings “The best time for you to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust.”


      • #4
        James 4
        What did I learn of God?
        – He fulfils desires that will Glorify Him and be according to His Will. He rarely give what is asked for with the wrong motive. He regards those who are friends with ‘the world’ as His enemies. He gives Grace (unmerited favour) to those who are humble (seek to do His Will). He draws near to those who, first, draw near to Him. He ‘lifts up’ those who humble themselves. He gave the Law, and He is my Judge. He, alone, has the Power to Save or destroy each person.

        What did I learn of Myself? – Jealousy of another person will affect the way I act towards them and how I interpret their actions and will also cause me stress. Do I scheme, and destroy other folk’s reputation, in an effort to get what they have? Do I ask the Lord to give me what I need (not want)? Are my motives, desires and perceptions focused on ‘worldly desires’ or on God’s Will? Do my motives honour God when I pray? Do I envy anyone’s wealth, popularity or success? Do I want God or ‘the world’ to think well of me? is my loyalty divided? If I resist the devil he will leave me alone. Do I encourage God to be with me by doing all I am able to be close to Him? Do I criticize God’s Law? do I obey it? or do I decide it doesn’t apply to me? Do I think I’m qualified to judge others? I don’t know what will happen in my life tomorrow, but if I do God’s Will it will bring Him Glory. If I boast I displease the Lord. Do I ever fail to do what I know is right? Do I accept the Grace God offers to overcome ‘natural’ tendencies? Do I add dv (if God Wills) to every plan I make?

        What did I praise God for?
        – being willing to be close to those who are close to Him.

        What did I pray for? – humility and meekness.

        What does this say in one sentence? – Pride promotes strife, humility cures worldliness, motives and attitudes affect prayer, judging other Christians and boasting about tomorrow is futile.

        Quote:- (A.W.Tozer) “A ‘meek’ man is not a human mouse with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be, in his mortal life, as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be . . . . in himself nothing – in God everything, is his motto.”


        • #5
          James 5

          What did I learn of God? - He is the Lord of Hosts. He hears His people when they call to Him. Jesus Christ will return to earth in Glory. He is the Judge. He is Compassionate and Merciful. His Name, used by those who trust Him, is Powerful. He Heals and Forgives those who trust Him.

          What did I learn of myself? - Do I try to possess things at other's expense? I must not rely on always having the same standard of living. Do I always pay the full rate for work done for me? has anyone, legitimately, got anything against me? if so God knows of it. Do I realise humility does not give immediate dividends. Am I patiently waiting for the Lord to act on my behalf? Am I willing to 'sow' in this world and 'reap' in the next? Am I expecting Jesus Christ to return to earth? do I grumble? do I suffer patiently? Am I determined to trust the Lord whatever deprivations and difficulties I experience? am I confident my prayers will be answered? do I swear? Do I pray when I suffer? do I sing to the Lord when I'm cheerful? When I'm not well do I send for the leaders of the church to anoint me with oil and pray in faith for my Healing? Do I trust the Lord to strengthen me and Forgive my Sins? Have I confessed all my Sins to others? Do I pray for others? Do I share the Truth, with humility, with those who are at risk of wandering from it?

          What did I praise God for? - His Compassion and Mercy.

          What did I pray for? - Healing of body, mind and spirit - as He sees the need.

          What is this saying in one sentence? - If I oppress others God will Judge me. I must patiently endure suffering Joy and helping others to stay on the Way of Truth.